I received notification the week before spring break that my application to participate in the 2010 NEH Summer Institute, "Mesoamerican Cultures and Their Histories: Spotlight on Oaxaca," was accepted. I'll be joining 29 other high school teachers from around the United States in Oaxaca for four weeks this summer and am honored to be among the chosen.
The application process was pretty grueling. Unlike 1994, when I applied for the Florence NEH in two days' time, I began gathering materials and soliciting letters of recommendation right after the New Year and was still tweaking my own essay the day I finally sent it off at the end of February. My recommenders were kind enough to let me read their letters, and I feel that I was successful on the wings of their praise. I'll have to work pretty hard to live up to all the nice things they said about me!